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HOT TOPIC SEO Reality Check - Lessons from building 17 websites, and almost 50 PBN sites in the last 5 years

Jonathan Hoch

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 17, 2019
157
310
170
SEO Reality Check
What Does It Take To Get To The Top?
The Simple Truth Behind Ranking #1 On Google
PA – DA – TF – CF – DR – UR
There are plenty of metrics that you can obsess over, while developing your SEO strategy. I have a shocker waiting for you: None of this shit matters! Wait- why?! Because they’re nothing more than “educated” guesses from companies that are NOT Google. The world of SEO is always changing. In 2018, this was no exception, and it will evolve in 2019. It is certainly easy to wonder what it really takes to rank in the top positions.

And in case you're wondering, yes Google understands that it is one of the most powerful sites in the world. Which is why it has developed such a complex algorithm. Some of the factors have been publicly acknowledged, while others are agreed upon from observation.

With the rapid expansion of today’s competition, Google has dozens of things it looks at, to determine if your site is worthy of rank. But do you think Google goes and has a chat with Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, or SEMrush, to figure out how they should rank sites? No.

As Simple As I Can Put It:
There Are Only Two Things That Matter.
High Quality Sites And High Quality Links.
Obtain high quality links from highly trafficked sites that Google has determined to be an authority.
Online publications with well researched articles, such as Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Wired, and countless more, are considered to be some of the most important sites on the internet. When they are linking out, they have done their research, and have decided to share something they consider helpful to their readers. They are sending a signal to Google. This little guy is important and should be ranking higher.

These are high quality links, and you want as many of these as possible. Do you think Google looks to Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, or SEMrush, to determine if a website is worth a damn? I'll answer for you. No.
So how do you go about getting high quality links?

Develop a high quality site that is helpful to users, and easy to navigate.
You have to have high value on your site. Having a high quality site that provides value to readers. How YOU decide to provide this is subjective, but the best way is to offer actionable information that your traffic can...act...upon.

Keeping focus on this gives the writers of the big publications something to work with. They can then turn around and create advertorial articles. Storytelling, listicles, reactions, and how-to articles do the best in my experience. Publications then use these similar types of articles to link to YOUR SITE, because they're useful.​

  • Storytelling - Personally, my best articles have always been storytelling articles, as they can be subtly shaped like mini-sales-funnels. I tend to write with the Hero's 2 Journeys in mind. There is a hero, a goal, a conflict, the resolution, and the aftermath result or takeaway.
  • How-To - How-to articles are great, because they are not just thought provoking, but action taking. "The five steps you must take before you can live life in the financial fast lane" makes you wonder: What are the five steps?
  • Listicle - Listicles also do well, when framed properly. Such as "The Three Lifestyle Choices of TMF" and then giving a summary of sidewalkers, slowlaners, and fastlaners. I refer to myself as a full throttle douche bottle, because I use all of the above as my fast lane, including sidewalks and shoulders, when necessary.
Site Structure Matters
One of the most common site structures you will hear about is called silo structuring. In a nutshell, you're compartmentalizing your similar content. You don't want shit everywhere. It's confusing. You want relevant stuff linked together, so your customer has an easier time.

ALL major brands do this with their ecom stores. But it's rarely present with small time operations. And it doesn't just go for ecom. All content that is tightly related, should be structured this way. Google loves it, and so does traffic. For an example, you run a pet eCom site.
  • Dogs
    • Dog care.
      • Dog nail grooming
      • Dog bathing
      • Dog health concerns
    • Dog training.
      • Dog obedience
      • Dog training tools
      • Dog training DVDs
    • Dog toys.
      • Dog chew toys
      • Dog frisbees
      • Dog squeeky toys
    • Dog food.
      • Dog dry food
      • Dog wet food
      • Dog meat diet
    • Dog clothes.
      • Dog jackets
      • Dog shirts
      • Dog hoodies
    • Dog services.
      • Dog professional trainers (whisperers)
      • Dog service certifications
  • Cats
    • Cat care.
      • Cat nail grooming
      • Cat bathing
      • Cat health concerns
    • Dog training.
      • Cat obedience
      • Cat training tools
      • Cat training DVDs
    • Cat toys.
      • Cat scratch toys
      • Cat chase toys
      • Cat string toys
    • Cat food.
      • Cat dry food
      • Cat wet food
      • Cat meat diet
    • Dog clothes.
      • Cat jackets
      • Cat shirts
      • Cat hoodies
    • Cat services.
      • Cat professional trainers (whisperers)
      • Cat service certifications
You can go on and on with Birds, Snakes, etc. This is effective because it makes sure of any content that is highly relevant to each other, is grouped together. By design, it helps to minimize confusion for your traffic. A confused mind never buys.

Without Exception, All Top Ranked Sites Are:
High Quality Sites With High Quality Links.
They Deserve To Be There. It is That-F*cking-Simple.
When your site is being linked to by other high quality sites, you are sending a big signal to Google. These authority links are giving a recommendation to their readers, that you are highly relevant. When was the last time you saw Forbes featuring a site that was keyword stuffed, multiple pop-unders, and content locked with never ending loops of CPA offers? Would you like to guess? Here’s your options
  • never
  • nope
  • site was hacked

So, after reading this, I'm sure you can think of a few sites that may be kicking your a$$ right now. It’s because of the two reasons above. They have a highly relevant website, and a great link portfolio. But if you are on Ahrefs, looking at their link profile and it doesn't add up, you probably have no idea why they are on top. Well, there's a third component.

A SEOcret PBNgredient
Private Blog Network
The PBN Is Real

Private Blog Networks are made up from sites that have been scooped up after being abandoned by their previous owner. A savvy marketer keeps a keen eye on the juggernauts from above, looking for links in articles that lead to dead websites. They buy the old domain, and build a site over the top of it, with the intention to point to their REAL site.

What's the point of this? The powerful signals mentioned above, boost the strength of these sites. The PBN is able to use this signal strength, to prop up the site that they're pointing to. And in turn, signals to google, that your site should be ranking higher.

But this deceptive link building is against Google's ToS, so the marketer will block access to all web crawlers. The crawlers aren't able to map out the site. So the site's links aren't detected, and can't be seen. This is why they don't show up when looking at tools like Ahrefs.

And I must give a warning. If Google finds out about these types of tactics used, they sandbox the site and the entire network. Aka Google F*cking removes them from the search results, and blacklists the site. So don't bother trying, because it can be a major blow to your marketing strategy. Just know of their existence for the next time you're looking at a competitions backlinks. If it doesn't look right, they're probably hiding a PBN. And the bad guy ALWAYS loses. (right hollywood?)

What should you take away from this?
Make Sure Your Site Has Perfect On Page Structure.
Buy The Highest Quality Links That You Can Afford.
 

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Last edited:
OP
OP
Jonathan Hoch

Jonathan Hoch

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 17, 2019
157
310
170
Last edited:

Luke12321

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Jul 27, 2007
663
197
97
North Carolina
Nice post @Jonathan Hoch.

I have stayed away from PBN type links, due to the fact it is "risky"....if Google ever catches up...bam the traffic disappears. It is also risk/reward but eventually it will blow up as it is not REALLY adding any true value.

I noticed some of my competitors had links on some sketch looking, terrible design, thin content websites but the Moz DA was crazy high. They are ranking better than me right now.

I have done some guest posting and only hitting up quality sites with real traffic, quality content but the sites aren't huge like the Forbes or anything even close!

My sites content is very good, if not not better than anyone in the niche but my site is new so I know I have that going against me.

The problem for me is, my industry isn't a "viral" industry really.

They aren't lots of people talking about it essentially.

Plus, most sites I contact to pitch them on publishing a guest post, ask for several hundred dollars for the guest post. It is a turn off to me. I don't blame them, but if they are going to continue pimping out a site in that regard with no special content being added, how long will it last?

I have used Twitter to find guest blog opptys but otherwise any cold outreach I have attempted has fallen flat. I think I have a good pitch and my content of my site is solid.

What are your tips/strategy to get quality links back to your site?

I have wrote great content but in my industry..people aren't so eager to discuss it or share it so I am trying to make opportunities for myself but coming up a bit flat.
 

Give100%

Contributor
Nov 17, 2018
23
48
19
London, UK
SEO Reality Check
What Does It Take To Get To The Top?
The Simple Truth Behind Ranking #1 On Google
PA – DA – TF – CF – DR – UR
There are plenty of metrics that you can obsess over, while developing your SEO strategy. I have a shocker waiting for you: None of this sh*t matters! Wait- why?! Because they’re nothing more than “educated” guesses from companies that are NOT Google. The world of SEO is always changing. In 2018, this was no exception, and it will evolve in 2019. It is certainly easy to wonder what it really takes to rank in the top positions.

And in case you're wondering, yes Google understands that it is one of the most powerful sites in the world. Which is why it has developed such a complex algorithm. Some of the factors have been publicly acknowledged, while others are agreed upon from observation.

With the rapid expansion of today’s competition, Google has dozens of things it looks at, to determine if your site is worthy of rank. But do you think Google goes and has a chat with Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, or SEMrush, to figure out how they should rank sites? No.

As Simple As I Can Put It:
There Are Only Two Things That Matter.
High Quality Sites And High Quality Links.
Obtain high quality links from highly trafficked sites that Google has determined to be an authority.
Online publications with well researched articles, such as Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Wired, and countless more, are considered to be some of the most important sites on the internet. When they are linking out, they have done their research, and have decided to share something they consider helpful to their readers. They are sending a signal to Google. This little guy is important and should be ranking higher.

These are high quality links, and you want as many of these as possible. Do you think Google looks to Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, or SEMrush, to determine if a website is worth a damn? I'll answer for you. No.
So how do you go about getting high quality links?

Develop a high quality site that is helpful to users, and easy to navigate.
You have to have high value on your site. Having a high quality site that provides value to readers. How YOU decide to provide this is subjective, but the best way is to offer actionable information that your traffic can...act...upon.

Keeping focus on this gives the writers of the big publications something to work with. They can then turn around and create advertorial articles. Storytelling, listicles, reactions, and how-to articles do the best in my experience. Publications then use these similar types of articles to link to YOUR SITE, because they're useful.​

  • Storytelling - Personally, my best articles have always been storytelling articles, as they can be subtly shaped like mini-sales-funnels. I tend to write with the Hero's 2 Journeys in mind. There is a hero, a goal, a conflict, the resolution, and the aftermath result or takeaway.
  • How-To - How-to articles are great, because they are not just thought provoking, but action taking. "The five steps you must take before you can live life in the financial fast lane" makes you wonder: What are the five steps?
  • Listicle - Listicles also do well, when framed properly. Such as "The Three Lifestyle Choices of TMF" and then giving a summary of sidewalkers, slowlaners, and fastlaners. I refer to myself as a full throttle douche bottle, because I use all of the above as my fast lane, including sidewalks and shoulders, when necessary.
Site Structure Matters
One of the most common site structures you will hear about is called silo structuring. In a nutshell, you're compartmentalizing your similar content. You don't want sh*t everywhere. It's confusing. You want relevant stuff linked together, so your customer has an easier time.

ALL major brands do this with their ecom stores. But it's rarely present with small time operations. And it doesn't just go for ecom. All content that is tightly related, should be structured this way. Google loves it, and so does traffic. For an example, you run a pet eCom site.
  • Dogs
    • Dog care.
      • Dog nail grooming
      • Dog bathing
      • Dog health concerns
    • Dog training.
      • Dog obedience
      • Dog training tools
      • Dog training DVDs
    • Dog toys.
      • Dog chew toys
      • Dog frisbees
      • Dog squeeky toys
    • Dog food.
      • Dog dry food
      • Dog wet food
      • Dog meat diet
    • Dog clothes.
      • Dog jackets
      • Dog shirts
      • Dog hoodies
    • Dog services.
      • Dog professional trainers (whisperers)
      • Dog service certifications
  • Cats
    • Cat care.
      • Cat nail grooming
      • Cat bathing
      • Cat health concerns
    • Dog training.
      • Cat obedience
      • Cat training tools
      • Cat training DVDs
    • Cat toys.
      • Cat scratch toys
      • Cat chase toys
      • Cat string toys
    • Cat food.
      • Cat dry food
      • Cat wet food
      • Cat meat diet
    • Dog clothes.
      • Cat jackets
      • Cat shirts
      • Cat hoodies
    • Cat services.
      • Cat professional trainers (whisperers)
      • Cat service certifications
You can go on and on with Birds, Snakes, etc. This is effective because it makes sure of any content that is highly relevant to each other, is grouped together. By design, it helps to minimize confusion for your traffic. A confused mind never buys.

Without Exception, All Top Ranked Sites Are:
High Quality Sites With High Quality Links.
They Deserve To Be There. It is That-f*cking-Simple.
When your site is being linked to by other high quality sites, you are sending a big signal to Google. These authority links are giving a recommendation to their readers, that you are highly relevant. When was the last time you saw Forbes featuring a site that was keyword stuffed, multiple pop-unders, and content locked with never ending loops of CPA offers? Would you like to guess? Here’s your options
  • never
  • nope
  • site was hacked

So, after reading this, I'm sure you can think of a few sites that may be kicking your a$$ right now. It’s because of the two reasons above. They have a highly relevant website, and a great link portfolio. But if you are on Ahrefs, looking at their link profile and it doesn't add up, you probably have no idea why they are on top. Well, there's a third component.

A SEOcret PBNgredient
Private Blog Network
The PBN Is Real

Private Blog Networks are made up from sites that have been scooped up after being abandoned by their previous owner. A savvy marketer keeps a keen eye on the juggernauts from above, looking for links in articles that lead to dead websites. They buy the old domain, and build a site over the top of it, with the intention to point to their REAL site.

What's the point of this? The powerful signals mentioned above, boost the strength of these sites. The PBN is able to use this signal strength, to prop up the site that they're pointing to. And in turn, signals to google, that your site should be ranking higher.

But this deceptive link building is against Google's ToS, so the marketer will block access to all web crawlers. The crawlers aren't able to map out the site. So the site's links aren't detected, and can't be seen. This is why they don't show up when looking at tools like Ahrefs.

But I must give a warning. If Google finds out about these types of tactics used, they sandbox the site and the entire network. Aka Google f*cking removes them from the search results, and blacklists the site. So don't bother trying, because it can be a major blow to your marketing strategy. Just know of their existence for the next time you're looking at a competitions backlinks. If it doesn't look right, they're probably hiding a PBN. And the bad guy ALWAYS loses. (right hollywood?)

What should you take away from this?
Make Sure Your Site Has Perfect On Page Structure.
Buy The Highest Quality Links That You Can Afford.
Hello Jonathan

I have been studying digital marketing for 6 months so very new to the industry. What you have explained in your thread is what I have stumbled upon no more then 4 hours ago.

I know nothing about PBN and started watching YouTube to find out more. I then got side tracked with affiliate marketing and ended up posting on this forum about the lack of trust regarding this.

Back to the point, I am a long way off but I have made my first Wordpress site for a friend's waste clearance company this week. I have added all the plug-ins and the content that I feel is OK. Yoast plug-in is guiding me about SEO but if it wasn't for that then I know I would only be able to add SEO through coding. I feel like using Wordpress is a massive shortcut but I'm sure I need to understand coding?

My next step to start ranking the site is the backlinks which I have no idea about. Then I come across PBN's. I saw a strategy advising to use cheap Fivver links, then Web 2.0, then buhy the more expensive PBN's.

You sound like you know your shit so am I on the right track?

Cheers mate

Give 100%
 

404profound

Platinum Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 27, 2017
1,325
2,710
662
Desert of Desertion
SEO Reality Check
What Does It Take To Get To The Top?
The Simple Truth Behind Ranking #1 On Google
PA – DA – TF – CF – DR – UR
There are plenty of metrics that you can obsess over, while developing your SEO strategy. I have a shocker waiting for you: None of this sh*t matters! Wait- why?! Because they’re nothing more than “educated” guesses from companies that are NOT Google. The world of SEO is always changing. In 2018, this was no exception, and it will evolve in 2019. It is certainly easy to wonder what it really takes to rank in the top positions.

And in case you're wondering, yes Google understands that it is one of the most powerful sites in the world. Which is why it has developed such a complex algorithm. Some of the factors have been publicly acknowledged, while others are agreed upon from observation.

With the rapid expansion of today’s competition, Google has dozens of things it looks at, to determine if your site is worthy of rank. But do you think Google goes and has a chat with Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, or SEMrush, to figure out how they should rank sites? No.

As Simple As I Can Put It:
There Are Only Two Things That Matter.
High Quality Sites And High Quality Links.
Obtain high quality links from highly trafficked sites that Google has determined to be an authority.
Online publications with well researched articles, such as Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Wired, and countless more, are considered to be some of the most important sites on the internet. When they are linking out, they have done their research, and have decided to share something they consider helpful to their readers. They are sending a signal to Google. This little guy is important and should be ranking higher.

These are high quality links, and you want as many of these as possible. Do you think Google looks to Moz, Ahrefs, Majestic, or SEMrush, to determine if a website is worth a damn? I'll answer for you. No.
So how do you go about getting high quality links?

Develop a high quality site that is helpful to users, and easy to navigate.
You have to have high value on your site. Having a high quality site that provides value to readers. How YOU decide to provide this is subjective, but the best way is to offer actionable information that your traffic can...act...upon.

Keeping focus on this gives the writers of the big publications something to work with. They can then turn around and create advertorial articles. Storytelling, listicles, reactions, and how-to articles do the best in my experience. Publications then use these similar types of articles to link to YOUR SITE, because they're useful.​

  • Storytelling - Personally, my best articles have always been storytelling articles, as they can be subtly shaped like mini-sales-funnels. I tend to write with the Hero's 2 Journeys in mind. There is a hero, a goal, a conflict, the resolution, and the aftermath result or takeaway.
  • How-To - How-to articles are great, because they are not just thought provoking, but action taking. "The five steps you must take before you can live life in the financial fast lane" makes you wonder: What are the five steps?
  • Listicle - Listicles also do well, when framed properly. Such as "The Three Lifestyle Choices of TMF" and then giving a summary of sidewalkers, slowlaners, and fastlaners. I refer to myself as a full throttle douche bottle, because I use all of the above as my fast lane, including sidewalks and shoulders, when necessary.
Site Structure Matters
One of the most common site structures you will hear about is called silo structuring. In a nutshell, you're compartmentalizing your similar content. You don't want sh*t everywhere. It's confusing. You want relevant stuff linked together, so your customer has an easier time.

ALL major brands do this with their ecom stores. But it's rarely present with small time operations. And it doesn't just go for ecom. All content that is tightly related, should be structured this way. Google loves it, and so does traffic. For an example, you run a pet eCom site.
  • Dogs
    • Dog care.
      • Dog nail grooming
      • Dog bathing
      • Dog health concerns
    • Dog training.
      • Dog obedience
      • Dog training tools
      • Dog training DVDs
    • Dog toys.
      • Dog chew toys
      • Dog frisbees
      • Dog squeeky toys
    • Dog food.
      • Dog dry food
      • Dog wet food
      • Dog meat diet
    • Dog clothes.
      • Dog jackets
      • Dog shirts
      • Dog hoodies
    • Dog services.
      • Dog professional trainers (whisperers)
      • Dog service certifications
  • Cats
    • Cat care.
      • Cat nail grooming
      • Cat bathing
      • Cat health concerns
    • Dog training.
      • Cat obedience
      • Cat training tools
      • Cat training DVDs
    • Cat toys.
      • Cat scratch toys
      • Cat chase toys
      • Cat string toys
    • Cat food.
      • Cat dry food
      • Cat wet food
      • Cat meat diet
    • Dog clothes.
      • Cat jackets
      • Cat shirts
      • Cat hoodies
    • Cat services.
      • Cat professional trainers (whisperers)
      • Cat service certifications
You can go on and on with Birds, Snakes, etc. This is effective because it makes sure of any content that is highly relevant to each other, is grouped together. By design, it helps to minimize confusion for your traffic. A confused mind never buys.

Without Exception, All Top Ranked Sites Are:
High Quality Sites With High Quality Links.
They Deserve To Be There. It is That-f*cking-Simple.
When your site is being linked to by other high quality sites, you are sending a big signal to Google. These authority links are giving a recommendation to their readers, that you are highly relevant. When was the last time you saw Forbes featuring a site that was keyword stuffed, multiple pop-unders, and content locked with never ending loops of CPA offers? Would you like to guess? Here’s your options
  • never
  • nope
  • site was hacked

So, after reading this, I'm sure you can think of a few sites that may be kicking your a$$ right now. It’s because of the two reasons above. They have a highly relevant website, and a great link portfolio. But if you are on Ahrefs, looking at their link profile and it doesn't add up, you probably have no idea why they are on top. Well, there's a third component.

A SEOcret PBNgredient
Private Blog Network
The PBN Is Real

Private Blog Networks are made up from sites that have been scooped up after being abandoned by their previous owner. A savvy marketer keeps a keen eye on the juggernauts from above, looking for links in articles that lead to dead websites. They buy the old domain, and build a site over the top of it, with the intention to point to their REAL site.

What's the point of this? The powerful signals mentioned above, boost the strength of these sites. The PBN is able to use this signal strength, to prop up the site that they're pointing to. And in turn, signals to google, that your site should be ranking higher.

But this deceptive link building is against Google's ToS, so the marketer will block access to all web crawlers. The crawlers aren't able to map out the site. So the site's links aren't detected, and can't be seen. This is why they don't show up when looking at tools like Ahrefs.

But I must give a warning. If Google finds out about these types of tactics used, they sandbox the site and the entire network. Aka Google f*cking removes them from the search results, and blacklists the site. So don't bother trying, because it can be a major blow to your marketing strategy. Just know of their existence for the next time you're looking at a competitions backlinks. If it doesn't look right, they're probably hiding a PBN. And the bad guy ALWAYS loses. (right hollywood?)

What should you take away from this?
Make Sure Your Site Has Perfect On Page Structure.
Buy The Highest Quality Links That You Can Afford.
This definitely agrees with what I've read from other experts. The number one predictor of traffic is quality. People talk about how products help them with their peers when they actually help them, and people recommend those products to peers with similar problems to solve. Having a good product is about as passive as SEO can get for that reason. I'd call it User Referral Optimization (URO). One of MJ's videos made the point that if you build the cure for cancer, it won't matter how hard you try to sell it, people will beat down your door to get it. Same concept online.
 
OP
OP
Jonathan Hoch

Jonathan Hoch

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 17, 2019
157
310
170
I have done some guest posting and only hitting up quality sites with real traffic, quality content but the sites aren't huge like the Forbes or anything even close!
The problem for me is, my industry isn't a "viral" industry really.

They aren't lots of people talking about it essentially.
What are your tips/strategy to get quality links back to your site?
Here's a secret about these big sites. They WANT hero stories. They WANT value. So with that being said, their authors can be contacted and pitched, just like the little guys. I once wrote an article for someone, only to find out it went on to be published on Inc magazine. He paid me $200 and then I found out he was charging $1,600!! It was a $1,400 lesson that burned in my mind.

It was on the topic of password security. That's about as boring as it gets. Except, I had an angle. A chilling story of being hacked. I just so happened to have been compromised a few months earlier, so I wrote a story about phone conversation from my bank asking for authorization for an $8,126 wire transfer.

I then went on to summarize how MOST PEOPLE use just a single password, from their grumpy cat bulk video watching sites, to their social media, to their banking details. The problem, is that the shitty site gets hacked, and then the hackers go try out the user/pass combo on all the big bank sites. So I followed up with a how-to on protecting yourself. Somewhere I inserted a nonchalant "this person, owner of ____________(link to company) says..." and then continued with the tips.

I used a story and a listicle to write the article. He changed it from being a white man at a racetrack in Texas, to a black woman at a theme park in Utah. I didn't mind, because the avatar was of a beautiful woman that resembled Vanessa Williams.

So I reverse engineered what the guy did that I was writing for:

Stalk the authors. Seriously. You can see the author on the site, and track them down on their social media. Build a relationship with them. Talk to them about the stuff they're ALREADY DOING. Don't go in trying to make a deal on the first conversation. Build rapport, and a relationship.

While rubbing shoulders, ask them for their advice and/or if they know anyone who would be interested in a guest post on an interesting angle of your service and how it would benefit BOTH websites. When I do this, I get a lot of success, in two ways. They'll say "Oh, I would like to do that," or "talk to this guy."

If they tell you to go over to someone else, ask them if THEY could reach out and introduce you, and to expect your email/phone call. Then it's a warmed up lead. Proceed with relationship building and pitching. (this is where direct cold call marketing comes in handy, for those of you who don't want to learn this skill set)

You may still need to pay for the placement, but it'll be on a MAJOR site, and not just some a**hole in the same niche.
 
OP
OP
Jonathan Hoch

Jonathan Hoch

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 17, 2019
157
310
170
Hello Jonathan

I have been studying digital marketing for 6 months so very new to the industry. What you have explained in your thread is what I have stumbled upon no more then 4 hours ago.

I know nothing about PBN and started watching YouTube to find out more. I then got side tracked with affiliate marketing and ended up posting on this forum about the lack of trust regarding this.

Back to the point, I am a long way off but I have made my first Wordpress site for a friend's waste clearance company this week. I have added all the plug-ins and the content that I feel is OK. Yoast plug-in is guiding me about SEO but if it wasn't for that then I know I would only be able to add SEO through coding. I feel like using Wordpress is a massive shortcut but I'm sure I need to understand coding?

My next step to start ranking the site is the backlinks which I have no idea about. Then I come across PBN's. I saw a strategy advising to use cheap Fivver links, then Web 2.0, then buhy the more expensive PBN's.

You sound like you know your sh*t so am I on the right track?

Cheers mate

Give 100%
For the love of god, stay away from fiverr for anything other than graphic or creative.

Cheap links are the fastest way to get your site sandboxed. Web 2.0 are decent for building traffic, but won't necessarily raise your rank in organic SEO, unless they provide "do-follow" links. But even then, they're not as strong as publication links. Regardless, the traffic is what matters the most.

For Web 2.0, build a summary profile of your company, and then when you write an article on your webpage, write a short summary for your web 2.0 with a link to the bigger article. It can be tedious, but it is what it is.

This is best outsourced to writers, because it's so time consuming. When you buy an article, pay for the article, and then 3 or 4 posts for specific social media. The writer will have multiple angles to cover the same thing, so the voice is the same and the information will work together. Example:

750 word article on Sinus Inflammation in Cats (dont judge)
140 character tweetable post of link to what you learned at vet office about sinus inflammation in cats (with link to big article)
250 word listicle of causes of sinus inflammation in cats for facebook (with link to big article)
250 word how to prevent sinus inflammation in cats for livejournal (with link to big article)
250 word story of cat going to vet because of sinus inflammation for reddit (with link to big article)
150 words reaction seeing cat needing to go to vet and what you learned for instagram (with link to big article)

Here's a link to a list of a shitload of web2.0 platforms that you can start building content on. This was current as of June 2018 so some may or may not be there still.

Top 500 Free Verified Do-follow High DA Web 2.0 sites list 2018-2019

And here's one for guest posts: (remember though, if I could find this, 7 billion others could too.)
Top 350+ High DA Dofollow Guest Posting sites and Blogging sites list 2018-2019
 
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Give100%

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For the love of god, stay away from fiverr for anything other than graphic or creative.

Cheap links are the fastest way to get your site sandboxed. Web 2.0 are decent for building traffic, but won't necessarily raise your rank in organic SEO, unless they provide "do-follow" links. But even then, they're not as strong as publication links. Regardless, the traffic is what matters the most.

For Web 2.0, build a summary profile of your company, and then when you write an article on your webpage, write a short summary for your web 2.0 with a link to the bigger article. It can be tedious, but it is what it is.

This is best outsourced to writers, because it's so time consuming. When you buy an article, pay for the article, and then 3 or 4 posts for specific social media. The writer will have multiple angles to cover the same thing, so the voice is the same and the information will work together. Example:

750 word article on Sinus Inflammation in Cats (dont judge)
140 character tweetable post of link to what you learned at vet office about sinus inflammation in cats (with link to big article)
250 word listicle of causes of sinus inflammation in cats for facebook (with link to big article)
250 word how to prevent sinus inflammation in cats for livejournal (with link to big article)
250 word story of cat going to vet because of sinus inflammation for reddit (with link to big article)
150 words reaction seeing cat needing to go to vet and what you learned for instagram (with link to big article)

Here's a link to a list of a sh*tload of web2.0 platforms that you can start building content on. This was current as of June 2018 so some may or may not be there still.

Top 500 Free Verified Do-follow High DA Web 2.0 sites list 2018-2019
I will look into this mate.

It's an industry I've become passionate about in the last 6 months as the end result, I believe, is helping people pride themselves with a successful, profitable, business which I'm sure they have put blood, sweat and tears into.

I didn't know it was going to be quite as deep to understand but as I say, I'm learning everyday and posts like the one you just sent puts me one step closer to were I want to be.

Many thanks

GIVE100%
 

minivanman

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I have 19 sites in 15 different cities that I did 0 back linking to. They all rank on the 1st page of Google for relevant search terms. I just have really great content. Clear and not misleading. On the 1st one it took about 8 months to see me in Google results at all and then right about a year to get on the 1st page then within 18 months of it's start, I was 1st on the 1st page. The other sites actually came a few months faster but I'm not really sure why. Oh by the way, this was with the thing that website builders call trash.... Weebly. I'm kicking every 'professionals' @ss using Weebly! LMAO But, I am on to Wordpress with my next site. But, it better perform or else I'll head back to Weebly. The only reason I'm heading to Wordpress is because Weebly is so limited. All I work off of is great content, that way when Google has an update, I never have to worry. They could update every day and it wouldn't bother my sites.
 
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I have 19 sites in 15 different cities that I did 0 back linking to. They all rank on the 1st page of Google for relevant search terms. I just have really great content. Clear and not misleading. On the 1st one it took about 8 months to see me in Google results at all and then right about a year to get on the 1st page then within 18 months of it's start, I was 1st on the 1st page. The other sites actually came a few months faster but I'm not really sure why. Oh by the way, this was with the thing that website builders call trash.... Weebly. I'm kicking every 'professionals' @ss using Weebly! LMAO But, I am on to Wordpress with my next site. But, it better perform or else I'll head back to Weebly. The only reason I'm heading to Wordpress is because Weebly is so limited. All I work off of is great content, that way when Google has an update, I never have to worry. They could update every day and it wouldn't bother my sites.
Local SEO is a whole different animal. And generally far easier. But there can still be plenty of competition there, depending on the niche. SEO agency in los angeles or new york city, is not giving you #1 spot on a weebly with no backlinks.

edit: I just went back and realized that you said it took you 18 months to get to #1, with no backlinking. How much faster do you think you could have gotten there, with the help of backlinking?

Think of it like a tree, with roots. The tree, is the content, the roots are the links. Sure the tree will grow, but without roots, it's gonna take a whole lot longer.
 
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minivanman

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This is just me personally, I was not worried about how fast I made it to the top, I was worried about staying there without having to worry about Google updates. My tree doesn't have to worry about getting a disease and dying. My tree will live for ever with a little watering each month. I'll be honest, I just did a little research at that time and watched some Matt Cutts videos (It was several years ago when I started them). That is how I got hooked on the content only thing.... and it seemed to have worked. I never worry about today, I always make things for the future. I didn't want to get back links from a site that might be dead in the future or a site that Google says is a no-no in the future, so that is why I did mine like I did. It worked for me but like most other things.... other people don't have much luck doing things my way. lol I'm just happy it works for me.

I made a few sites that are up against some nation wide businesses with large marketing budgets.... I should email them and ask if they want me to build them a site for all their other towns across America so they can rank higher. lol
 

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minivanman

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By the way, the way you laid out how a site is suppose to be is how I have mine. Atleast I did lots of things right and with my site that I'm going to put on Wordpress I will now be sure and follow that same layout. Thanks reassuring me on that.
 

eliquid

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I just went back and realized that you said it took you 18 months to get to #1, with no backlinking. How much faster do you think you could have gotten there, with the help of backlinking?
It could have taken him longer than 18 months if he went after backlinks.

More backlinks does not equal faster ranking. There are too many other variables in play that this statement doesn't address.

While I am not trying to disagree with you, I just want other readers to understand the full story while not reading your statement as blind faith that link building WILL get them there faster.

Plus, this read too -> Domain Age For SEO Is EXTREMELY Important which is not about link building, but an analysis that sometimes you just cant break the top page by doing anything "more" or faster sometimes.

If his domain was new ( I assume he didn't buy an aged one ), he could have fell into this as well and took another additional 18 months to rank.

For your statement to be true, we need to address rank difficulty of keyword term, quality of links he would have got before he read this post, anchors he used ( proved to be critical now with findings like this: Grind Stone on Twitter Part 1 + Grind Stone on Twitter Part 2 ), etc.

He could have done a lot of things wrong which would slow him down.

This type of analysis and theory is why I built SERPWoo actually, to address things like this and to prove or disprove them.

It's also why other companies like Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Majestics and such have things like PA – DA – TF – CF – DR – UR since they act as a barometer shortcut for what I mention above as a whole, to the best of their abilities.

Otherwise, I think the rest of your advice is sound.

I only offer my post to serve as clarification.. not as disagreement.

.
 
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It could have taken him longer than 18 months if he went after backlinks.

More backlinks does not equal faster ranking. There are too many other variables in play that this statement doesn't address.

While I am not trying to disagree with you, I just want other readers to understand the full story while not reading your statement as blind faith that link building WILL get them there faster.

Plus, this read too -> Domain Age For SEO Is EXTREMELY Important which is not about link building, but an analysis that sometimes you just cant break the top page by doing anything "more" or faster sometimes.

If his domain was new ( I assume he didn't buy an aged one ), he could have fell into this as well and took another additional 18 months to rank.

For your statement to be true, we need to address rank difficulty of keyword term, quality of links he would have got before he read this post, anchors he used ( proved to be critical now with findings like this: Grind Stone on Twitter Part 1 + Grind Stone on Twitter Part 2 ), etc.

He could have done a lot of things wrong which would slow him down.

This type of analysis and theory is why I built SERPWoo actually, to address things like this and to prove or disprove them.

It's also why other companies like Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush, Majestics and such have things like PA – DA – TF – CF – DR – UR since they act as a barometer shortcut for what I mention above as a whole, to the best of their abilities.

Otherwise, I think the rest of your advice is sound.

I only offer my post to serve as clarification.. not as disagreement.

.
I agree with most of what you have to say, as it IS a complex process to win the algorithm game. However, when it’s all boiled down, stripping away the technical jargon, it’s quality that wins. Simply put, ensuring your on-site optimization, and obtaining off-site links from the highest quality sources possible.

Figured I would spare the masses of a Ben Stein style breakdown of a 200+ item site analysis.
 

eliquid

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Domain age isn't that important. It's a correlating factor not a causing one.
So you would disagree with billions of data points collected and analysed?

* If so, why can't we just buy a new domain and push a ton of high authority and relevant links to it and have it rank within its first month?

Many of us have the relationships and resources to the best links out there fairly easily and quickly. We can do our reach out and pay our money and get the links we need in a few weeks time. Same with content.

Our data shows this almost never happens though. There are a very few outliers to this, but the circumstances behind the outliers speak for themselves when you dig into the data for them.

Otherwise, yes you will be waiting. Especially anything worth ranking for that will also STAY ranked on the first page and not bounce around.

If you think of it as a non-link collecting event behind the timeframe in the article, it's the very thing a smart engineer would do at Google to prevent spammers from ranking. Most spammers don't invest years and money into not ranking and many of them throw away their domains or give up when the quick money doesn't roll in.

Some email spam filters are set up this way too on domains less than 1 yr old because spammers routinely only keep their spammy domains for the bare min needed, which is 1 year registration.

But a site that's been around and constantly added to for 2-3 years? That starts to look less like a possible spam or MFA site. A site someone cares about and could be adding value to, etc. Sure a spammer could do hang on this long, but its less likely overall.

If you make the barrier to entry a lot harder ( time to rank ), you rub a lot of them ( spammers ) out from the get go. Otherwise, those of us that can do "*" mentioned above, would do it and rank within a month's time frame with our High Authority and Relevant links and content that was prepared well in advance.

There are outliers, but once you see who and what they are you understand why it happened in a specific SERP, you realize just how much more important what I shared actually is.

.
 
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So you would disagree with billions of data points collected and analysed?

* If so, why can't we just buy a new domain and push a ton of high authority and relevant links to it and have it rank within its first month?

Many of us have the relationships and resources to the best links out there fairly easily and quickly. We can do our reach out and pay our money and get the links we need in a few weeks time. Same with content.

Our data shows this almost never happens though. There are a very few outliers to this, but the circumstances behind the outliers speak for themselves when you dig into the data for them.

Otherwise, yes you will be waiting. Especially anything worth ranking for that will also STAY ranked on the first page and not bounce around.

If you think of it as a non-link collecting event behind the timeframe in the article, it's the very thing a smart engineer would do at Google to prevent spammers from ranking. Most spammers don't invest years and money into not ranking and many of them throw away their domains or give up when the quick money doesn't roll in.

Some email spam filters are set up this way too on domains less than 1 yr old because spammers routinely only keep their spammy domains for the bare min needed, which is 1 year registration.

But a site that's been around and constantly added to for 2-3 years? That starts to look less like a possible spam or MFA site. A site someone cares about and could be adding value to, etc. Sure a spammer could do hang on this long, but its less likely overall.

If you make the barrier to entry a lot harder ( time to rank ), you rub a lot of them ( spammers ) out from the get go. Otherwise, those of us that can do "*" mentioned above, would do it and rank within a month's time frame with our High Authority and Relevant links and content that was prepared well in advance.

There are outliers, but once you see who and what they are you understand why it happened in a specific SERP, you realize just how much more important what I shared actually is.

.
I'm glad you shared this point, which is now a decision point for me. I'm still building my app, and haven't named it yet because I'm allowing the brand to come after I get through an alpha and do user tests. That being said, now I feel like every day I spend waiting on a brand name is a day spent waiting to buy a domain, and a day towards domain age wasted. Not sure whether to risk picking the wrong name or risk prolonging SEO health.. arggg
 
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I would say the initial waiting period of speed of ranking is frustrating as hell.

With that being said, 6-9 months of quality outreach and reputation building will always do more than just having a nice spot on the first page, because you can warm up your traffic as people begin their journey into your funnel. (Everything should funnel)
 
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I've been working on my friend's sign company website (built on wordpress).

So far the only SEO work I've done is:
- Installing Yoast SEO plug-in with basic configurations
- Wrote an article about signage for business owners (not getting many views vs other pages)
- Added keywords to image file names, alt tags and descriptions
- Improve pagespeed (CDN, image compression, cache plugins)

A couple of questions:
- What tips would you have for local small business SEO vs global SEO (eg. Neil Patel / Brian Dean strategies)?
- Regarding site structure, is it better to have all relevant info listed on one page OR have multiple pages with the relevant info split up? (ie. We're thinking of switching to a new theme which doesn't have separate 'About' and 'Contact' pages but just links to anchors on the home page -- might be better UX)

Thanks!
 

Sebastya

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So you would disagree with billions of data points collected and analysed?
Like I said, correlation not causation.

* If so, why can't we just buy a new domain and push a ton of high authority and relevant links to it and have it rank within its first month?
You can do exactly that, but chances are the top spots have way more links than you could push out in a month.
 

eliquid

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Like I said, correlation not causation.



You can do exactly that, but chances are the top spots have way more links than you could push out in a month.

Ok. Where's your data to backup such claims?

I'll be waiting until you can prove both statements with a statistically relevant amount of data.

Also, the ranking would need to stick for more than a few weeks instead of bouncing around to be valid. Lots of people can spike a ranking to the top, only to be lost a few days or weeks later. We are talking about a real ranking here though.

In smaller niches ( not the ultra low, nobody is searching for types ) where people can easily push out enough links and content to overtake the top spots.. this is not happening in a month. I'm talking real world worthy smaller niches that would be easy to take over based on what you said "You can do exactly that".

Again, it's not happening.

How do I know? SERPWoo is monitoring every keyword, every day, in it's database for this. Our keyword database is multi-millions. Our URL ranking database is in the multi-billions. We run and evaluate every day, which none of our larger competitors can even do.

Our outliers are typically things no one is searching for ( dog snuggie blankets for parrots located in Butte Montana ), or phrases so new ( think a new product name just released this week ) no one has had time to build a page about yet.

.
 

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minivanman

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In smaller niches ( not the ultra low, nobody is searching for types ) where people can easily push out enough links and content to overtake the top spots.. this is not happening in a month. I'm talking real world worthy smaller niches that would be easy to take over based on what you said "You can do exactly that".

So I have to ask, would these be the smaller niches you are talking about? Or can you give me an example of what you mean? House cleaning/maid service, lawn care, interior painting, handyman, dog walking, etc. In cities such as Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Kansas, Dallas/Fort Worth, Lubbock, Texas, Omaha, Lincoln, Nebraska, Houston, Austin, Waco, Texas, Jackson, Tennessee, Mobile, Alabama, Lexington, Kentucky.
 
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I think the wrong question is being showcased here.

While the domain age isn't a ranking factor, it ABSOLUTELY is a factor in RESPONSE RATE.

In 2010 Google dropped the Caffeine update, which sped up indexing by 50 percent. Then they had to almost immediately update again, because content farms were abusing the living piss out of this. That's the Panda update, where they were trying to combat the ridiculous amount of crap that was being made available to the world.

At one point, "Demand Media" was pumping out 7,000 pieces of freelanced junk content each day.

In 2012, they started dropping the Penguin updates, which went after the blackhat link building strategies. These were techniques that were blasting the pages up to the top in just days or weeks, while the white hat guys like @minivanman were making high quality sites with zero links and not getting any traction.

And ever since, they've been battling bad content, spammy practices, and deceptive link building.

As @eliquid pointed out, the spammers get in fast and hot, blast a billion links, and move on. Google knows this, so to combat against it, they've slowed the initial movement of websites. It's not an overall ranking factor, but you gotta wait on a brand new domain.

As I said above, with all the sites I've built, it's about the 6-9 month range where you start seeing your efforts. And in that time you spend going after your high quality community outreach, you'll see your keywords explode to the top.
 

eliquid

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^ Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google



Source: Domain Names | SEO Best Practices - Moz



View: https://youtu.be/-pnpg00FWJY?t=90

Forward to 1:30

Also this was back in 2010, so it's even less relevant now...

1. You assume what is said is truth. However, prior statements from such figure heads about how their algo works ( from Google themselves ) before have been disproved. Remember when low quality links weren't supposed to be helpful? This was from Matt and others at Google. That was proved wrong from 2008-2012 though easily. So much so, we had to have specific updates about them, but the whole notion of low quality links not helping has been around forever though from Google.

How about the fact you couldn't do "negative seo" on a competitor? This was said a lot from Google, but for a long time you could actually do such seo until they finally started to crack down on it by making certain links less valuable. But the whole time they said it was not possible, but this is what a lot of people did with cheap services on forums.

Until the disavow tool came around, Google couldn't even properly determine what was a low quality link. Until disavowing became popular and effective, you could rank ( or negative seo ) to your hearts content.. but "oh no's, Google said this wasn't possible with low quality links from tools like SeNuke, GSA, Xrumer, etc" - so I don't buy into what Google says because I was actually ranking sites back then and profiting from it.

2. You assume algo changes, strategies, and direction can not change over time. I said when I was 13 I would never eat meat. Guess that means Im doomed to eat plants until I die at 87.... Not very many things in SEO from 2010 ( or year to year ) stay valid. Ranking signals change, some get added.. some get changed. You assume what was said years ago is valid now and unchangeable. Again, when I was 13...

3. In the image you post, Matt says he doesn't know of any Search Engine confirming they use domain age. How interesting.. just because something isn't confirmed, doesn't mean it isn't being used. Also he mentioned a domain that is 1yr old and 6 months old isn't much of a difference. I agree, six months of difference is nothing to care about. But its totally different than your stance of a month old domain can rank top spots against domains that might be 3-20 years old. There is a huge difference there.

Again, I don't see data. I just see old talking points and beliefs that have no data behind them.

Where is your data, stuff you actually researched and collected that prove it?

What Google says is 1 thing. Data is a whole different story.

.
 
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eliquid

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I'm going to duck out of the convo though.

I think going further back and forth would distract from the OP's thread.

Bottom line, make sure you do your own research with data ( trench work ) so you don't fall victim to old beliefs, false beliefs, or beliefs from companies that have other agendas.

.
 
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I'm going to duck out of the convo though.

I think going further back and forth would distract from the OP's thread.

Bottom line, make sure you do your own research with data ( trench work ) so you don't fall victim to old beliefs, false beliefs, or beliefs from companies that have other agendas.

.
It's too late for that. We're all part of the rabbit hole now...
 
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I've been working on my friend's sign company website (built on wordpress).

So far the only SEO work I've done is:
- Installing Yoast SEO plug-in with basic configurations
- Wrote an article about signage for business owners (not getting many views vs other pages)
- Added keywords to image file names, alt tags and descriptions
- Improve pagespeed (CDN, image compression, cache plugins)

A couple of questions:
- What tips would you have for local small business SEO vs global SEO (eg. Neil Patel / Brian Dean strategies)?
- Regarding site structure, is it better to have all relevant info listed on one page OR have multiple pages with the relevant info split up? (ie. We're thinking of switching to a new theme which doesn't have separate 'About' and 'Contact' pages but just links to anchors on the home page -- might be better UX)

Thanks!
Sorry about the response time. I didn't mean to skip over your questions. In fact, I did actually type something up and then got distracted with the domain age convo and my response got lost in the mix.

Local SEO is fairly straightforward. As far as on page, make sure you have a clear intention, a clear call to action, and an easy way to make contact with you. Specifically, I like to put my Name Address Phone Number info just below the header menu. And I like to have it as a floating menu, so when scrolling down it's always there, burning a hole in my eyes.

As far as your keywords and tags, make sure you have your TOWN included with your keywords, Because you're wanting to dominate the map listing anytime someone searches for your solutions.

These next steps are critical.

Set up your Google Business Listing so the business can be found on maps. You'll need a real address, because they send a postcard for you to use to verify the address.

Use the Google Structured Data Markup Helper to generate markup code. This will give you the code to put in your site so you have the cool stuff like the rating stars in search results, along with an info card of details. Name, address, phone number, hours of operation, restaurant menu, etc.

Finally, Start building Local Citations. These are literally defined as "any time your business info is mentioned locally." Here's a great resource I found just now. Top 50 Local Citation Sites that you can use for local citation building. (they're a huge factor in your local rank)

All you need to do is sign up, put your business info in there, and maybe a nice little elevator pitch. I use a format similar to a simple hero's journey arc.

Hero > Goal > Setback > Overcome > Transformation > Aftermath > Call To Action

Business and Employee > Mission Statement > Common Problem > How We Solve It > What Changed From Before > What Life Is Like After > How To Contact Us/Where to Find Us

I hope this helps!
 

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My black hat wizardry guy who I affectionately call Saruman agrees with the OP, kinda. I invited him to the forum. Hopefully he’ll come hang out and add value. Here’s his YouTube video discussing this concept. It’s an hour long.

Tutorial - How To Write Content To Rank Organically On Page 1 Of Google In 2019.

For any newbies reading and enjoying this thread..

I spent 5k rather foolishly to learn some of this stuff. Turns out you can check out anybody’s site for FREE on Ahrefs, Moz, or Majestic. With a subscription you can see what ppl are doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Shocker. I shouldn’t have spent the 5k.

There are also Facebook groups and YouTube videos and forums for this stuff where you’ll be able to get free help. Every day they will attempt to try to sell you stuff. Don’t. Buy. Anything.

17 websites is nice. I know a guy who just learned SEO two years ago and now builds 10 sites a day, ranks them in a month, and sells them.

There’s a billion ways to skin a cat but WHY do you need to skin a cat?!?
 

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